Activities for this year’s Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) and Emancipation Day celebrations in Ghana have been unveiled.
Under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Ghana Tourism Authority in collaboration with the PANAFEST Foundation will host the 2021 PANAFEST/Emancipation Day Celebrations from 26th July, 2021 to 1st August, 2021. PANAFEST theme: ‘Securing The African Family: Our Health, Our Wealth Our Soul.’ Emancipation Theme: Reclaiming Our Right to Weave Our Own Narrative’.
PANAFEST is to honour heroes like Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Edward Burghart Du Bois, Dr. George Padmore and other great ancestors who have built on the Pan-African ideals. PANAFEST/Emancipation is celebrated to rise above and beyond the shadows of slavery and celebrate the African spirit of resilience.
In consonance with the theme, this year’s event, according to Chairperson of the PANAFEST Foundation, Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy will highlight Covid-19 related issues affecting the Black race all over the world.
She pointed out at a Media Briefing, that apart from institutionalized racial prejudices Blacks continued to suffer, there was currently a ‘a power play even in the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines as less than one percent of Africans are currently vaccinated against the virus.”
In the same vein, the 2021 PANAFEST will celebrate Blacks who in diverse ways have been at the fore of bringing relief to humanity through their contributions to the fight against the virus.
Prof. Sutherland-Addy added that Panafest and Emancipation Day are ‘just not commemorative, but celebrative of our resistance and capacities.”
Echoing similar sentiments, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman said ‘in keeping to the resilience of the African spirit, PANAFEST and Emancipation Day are happening.”
He added that there has been a lot of interest from the diaspora with some high profile guests expected to come into the country to take part in activities.
Ahead of the official commencement of celebrations, officials on Thursday welcomed American musician D’wayne Patrice Wiggins and his Tony! Toni! Tone! Group to Ghana. The group is one of the headliners for several music. The group will also premiere the Wiggin produced, ‘Timeless’ movie which has some scenes shot in the country.
The 2021 PANAFEST and Emancipation Day commemorations will take a hybrid format where participants are urged to follow activities online as there will be limited admissions to physical events. They will begin on July 26th with wreath-laying ceremonies at Dubois Centre, George Padmore Library and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in Accra. Activities come to an end on August 1st (Emancipation Day) with visit to the Assin Manso Slave River in the Central Region.
Emancipation Celebration is an annual event in Ghana. Emancipation was originally celebrated in the Caribbean to commemorate the final abolition of Chattel Slavery in the British colonies on 1st August 1834.
The Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) is a cultural event held in Ghana every two years for Africans and people of African descent. It was first held in 1992. The idea of this festival is to promote and enhance unity, Pan- Africanism, and the development of the African continent.
Story by: Samuel Obeng Appah